A Tribute To A Friend

This is a little off format for what you usually read here, but it’s worth it….

Juan had worked for my dad for over 20 years. He worked hard and he loved well.

During the summers sometimes I would work for my dad and many times I was working alongside Juan.

When I was really young, maybe around 12, I remember Juan and I were building a fence together. Ok, now that I see that in print I can see that most likely Juan was building a fence and I was ‘helping’. The fence was made of metal pipe and Juan was welding it piece by piece.   At one point we took a break and there was a horse trough nearby filled with water. I was wearing gloves and stuck my hands in the water, because that’s what you do when you’re 12.

We went back to building the fence. I was holding the pipe in place and Juan started welding. Here’s the thing about welding that I didn’t know until that moment… it carries decent electric current with it!

When Juan’s blue flame connected with the pipe that was connected to my wet gloves that were connected to my hands. I reacted as one does when being electrocuted (Ok, maybe ‘shocked’ is a more accurate word). I jumped back. Juan could tell what had happened. He said – Did it shock you? I said – Yeah! He said – Are your gloves wet? I said –  Yeah!

We had a good laugh. He might have laughed harder.

I thought about that story a lot over the last week, and figured I was now the only one who knew it. Then earlier this week when the graveside portion of the funeral was ending my dad leaned over to me and said…

“He always told that story about the time you got shocked.”

Juan's Parking Spot

Juan’s Parking Spot

Once when I was in college I was back in town for a break and working for my dad again. It was just Juan and I working in the shop together. Juan knew I was majoring in ‘Christian Studies’ in college and told me about how he was taking correspondence courses on the Bible and theology. That always stuck out to me because he was obviously doing it just because he wanted to. He didn’t have aspirations of starting a blog or podcast or a career in vocational ministry. He just wanted to know his Jesus more.

He knows him very well now.

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